If summer has you hot and bothered for all the wrong reasons–namely, because you can’t figure out how to make your hair behave when it’s crazy humid–it may be time to take a closer look at how you’re tending to your locks. Hair care and clothing have more in common than you think. You wouldn’t wear a wool coat in 80 degree weather, right? Hair experts say these same seasonal changes should be considered when thinking products, hairstyles, and even how often you wash our hair in June, July and August.
“Frizziness is caused when the hair cuticle layer is damaged or open from elements such as the sun, harsh wind, and/or salt water,” says Michelle Forst, senior stylist at George the Salon in Chicago. “There are so many amazing products, but very few to de-frizz hair.”
Which isn’t to say all hope is lost when it comes to humidity-proofing our hair. Forst and Gina Capano at the LuxeBar have seven tips for keeping keep frizz and dull hair at bay when the forecast calls for lots of humidity.
1. Start in the shower. Your first defense against frizz starts in the shower and your choice of shampoo and conditioner make a big difference, Capano says. “I’m a big fan of Living Proof’s No Frizz line because the science really works. If you have the time, take your shower regimen a step further and use a deep conditioning treatment to add moisture. Finish off with a cool rinse to close your hair’s cuticle and seal in the moisture.”
2. Don’t wring out your hair. It’s tempting, but trying to dry your hair with a towel will only lead to more frizz. “After showering, never wring your hair out,” Capano says. “Instead, pat dry and press the excess moisture out of the hair.”
3. Find products that specifically target frizz. Forst recommends Kerastase Discipline, which she says makes a great de-frizzing line that is also great for thick and thin textured hair called Fluidealiste. “In particular, I reach for Kerastase Discipline Fluidissime,” she says. “This leave-in lotion reduces friction, protects hair fibers during the styling process, and disciplines even the frizziest, most unruly hair. The awesome thing about this spray is that it works on any kind of frizz, for both fine and thick hair.”
4. Don’t wash your hair every day. We already know shampooing every day can damage hair, strip color, and result in more split ends. But it will also do a number on your mane in high humidity. “A trick that will help with frizz and hair standing on end is to only wash your hair every other day,” Forst says. “This is very hard for most people, but try to rinse your second day and only condition. A lack of moisture causes frizzy hair.
5. Change the way you dry your hair. I’m very lazy when it comes to drying my own hair–I often flip over my head and go to town, only to realize I’ve exacerbated my frizz problem. “The best way to avoid frizz is to blow dry your hair from the top down,” Forst says. “Direct the dryer toward the ends. Always dry the roots about 70 percent first then focus on the ends. Make sure you control the ends with your brush or try using your hands to press the dried hair smooth.” Capano adds that heat protectants are crucial to use if you plan on adding heat to already-vulnerable hair. “If you decide to reach for the blow dryer, make sure you use a styling product specially design to protect hair from high heat,” Capano says.
6. Make sure your hair is completely dry before you go out. You’re asking for trouble if you allow the sun to take care of your wet hair. “Always make sure hair is completely dry before heading out into the humid weather. Moisture can be your worst enemy or your greatest ally in the battle against humidity,” Capano says.
7. Pick the right products. It is key to use cream-based products instead of oils. This will help during the frizzy hair months. Cream-based products will help hold shape into the hair, while oils in the summer time tend to make hair lay flat,” says Forst.
8. Choose hair styles that work in humid conditions. I’m sorry to bring on the bad news, but a sticky summer day isn’t the best time to straighten very curly hair. Instead of fighting Mother Nature, Forst recommends considering one of these cute style options instead:
– Wear a thick head band and let hair dry naturally. Why fight your natural texture when you can embrace it?
– Touch up your natural hair with a curling iron and wear your hair in a low or high wild ponytail.
– Start by making an extreme part to one side of the head. Then, use pins to pull the lighter side over. Twist the hair so it will be easier to pin. This is what I call embracing day old hair.
– Make a center part and pull into a ponytail. Back comb your ponytail and use five or so pins to pin it for a messy, sleek look.
– French braids and fishtail braids are also perfect for hot and humid weather.